The Inclusive Apprenticeship Experience: A Current Apprentice Discusses his Journey to a Career in Cybersecurity

By Chad Chaffee: For Complete Post, click here…

Chad Chaffee, a cybersecurity apprentice with Apprenti, discusses the benefits of inclusive apprenticeship for people with disabilities. He dives into how the culture of inclusion at Apprenti encouraged him to self-disclose his ADHD and provided him access to a career in a high-growth, high demand sector in a supportive and inclusive workplace environment.

Intro: [00:00:01.04] Welcome to the Workology Podcast, a podcast for the disruptive workplace leader. Join host Jessica Miller-Merrell, founder of as she sits down and gets to the bottom of trends, tools, and case studies for the business leader, HR, and recruiting professional who is tired of the status quo. Now here’s Jessica with this episode of Workology.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:00:27.40] This episode of the Workology Podcast is part of our podcast series powered by the Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship, or PIA. PIA is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, or ODEP. In November of 2020, ODEP launched PIA to ensure all apprenticeship programs are inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities. PIA collaborates with employers and apprenticeship programs to help meet employer talent needs and enable people with disabilities to benefit from apprenticeships that increase their opportunities for lifelong access to high-growth and high-demand jobs. The 7th annual National Apprenticeship Week, or NAW, is taking place November 15th through the 20th of this year, 2021. This allows us the opportunity to highlight the opportunities available and successes achieved through apprenticeship training, particularly for people with disabilities. Today, I’m joined by Chad Chaffee, an apprenticeship in cybersecurity with Apprenti who has a self-disclosed disability. This is the first opportunity we’ve had to talk with an apprentice in the program, and I am so happy that Chad is part of this podcast. You’re going to love it. So many great insights. Wait and see. Chad, welcome to the Workology Podcast.

Chad Chaffee: [00:01:47.17] Well, thank you for having me, Jessica. I really appreciate this opportunity to talk.

Jessica Miller-Merrell: [00:01:51.43] You know, we’ve been, we’ve talked, we’ve had Apprenti on the podcast a couple of different times and we have been talking about apprenticeships for a number of different years. But this is the first time that we’ve had an actual apprentice on the podcast. I’m so excited. I want to jump right in first and talk about your background and what led you to seek an apprenticeship.

Chad Chaffee: [00:02:12.70] Great, you know, I’ve had a pretty diverse background in terms of how I got to an apprenticeship decision. I started off in the service industry waiting tables and bartending, which was a nice, fast-paced, quick-moving industry. Eventually, I got a little, little tired of that and didn’t see corporate America doing manufacturing, sales and things like that, and found it to not be as stimulating to my mind or work towards my, work towards my strengths. And so, I decided that it would be wise and something I’ve desired to switch careers fully and move into a, an industry that I thought really would always be up and coming and play to my desires to learn and desire to increase information that I would be taking in. So, I came across this apprenticeship opportunity through Apprenti and thought it would be a perfect way for me to learn a new trade or a new industry while on the job with guidance and learning, rather than starting from the beginning in a higher ED situation as, you know, cybersecurity is currently changing. Change very quickly.

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